Here’s what Wikipedia says it is:
The part I disagree with is the second statement:
“Content marketing is focused on not selling, but on simply communicating with customers and prospects.”
While it isn’t wrong, it also isn’t right. It’s an over-generalization.
Every interaction with any prospect is a sales opportunity and your content can sell better than any direct response ad if it’s designed properly.
All you have to do is meet one simple criteria:
Be more awesome than everyone else. Period.
If you provide more value than anyone else, you become the instant authority. It doesn’t necessarily matter how the awesomeness is delivered. Any format is fine. The structure of the content is what makes the desired impact.
So, what is content marketing?
The term “content marketing” is now being thrown around to describe infographics, social media, and video marketing that is designed to inform instead of sell. It leaves out a lot of strategies.
Real content marketing is any content in any format that is designed to lead a prospect through a process to buy your stuff.
Articles, videos, press releases, blogging, white papers, podcasts, free reports, social media posts, etc…
The flow from that content into your business is what’s important. It’s also what 95% of businesses are doing wrong.
This is a simple content marketing strategy that’s virtually guaranteed to work in any market or niche:
Put together (or pay for) some content. Attempt to answer the biggest questions surrounding what you sell.
If you need help putting together badass titles, check out Cracked.com
Post all of that content to one website (YouTube, EzineArticles, Articlesbase, or Sribd).
Count views against click throughs. The one that has the most views AND the most clicks wins. Most of the time, you’ll have an obvious winner.
Now, take that one piece of content and repurpose it into as many formats as possible. (audio, video, pdf, and text).
Post that content in as many locations as you can.
Now this is the fun part:
If you’re showing someone “3 ways to lose 3 pounds today”, the link you send them to should focus on getting an email address or low dollar sale for the same concept. They’ve shown you they want to know about that topic, so offer them more on that exact same topic.
Don’t send them to some generic landing page with no clear call to action.
Create a string of content that provides value to your prospects and lead them through the process of getting to know more about you and your business. Provide real solutions.
Step 1: “3 Ways To Lose 3 Pounds Today” infographic, article, or video.
Step 2: Opt-In for free report on “How To Lose 10 Pounds This Week And Keep It Off”.
Step 3: Course with Worksheets and/or Mobile App: “How To Annihilate Your Fat This Month And Dump 20 Pounds Or More Of Excess Weight”.
Step 4: Consulting and Coaching: “Never Be A Fatass Again Coaching Program”
Nice and easy.
Doing all of this by hand would be tough. For the ultimate content marketing 1-2 knockout punch grab Content Marketer and Kudani. Kudani is drastically discounted during it’s launch and you can see my infographic bonus here. Both tools work together to take the guesswork out of your content marketing and get brag-worthy results with far less work.
I don’t make statements like these lightly. I feel extortion is serious and something most businesses are smart enough not to do.
I create “membership” style websites to manage my products, training programs, and software.
For many years, I used a standalone php membership script. It was what I knew and I was comfortable with how it worked.
Eventually, I saw WordPress becoming the standard base for these types of sites. While I knew I’d have to go that route eventually, I resisted for as long as I could.
I had partnered with 2 of my friends to create a training program and the building of the website wasn’t my responsibility. My partner created the site in WordPress and I was in awe of how easy it was to use.
He used a combination of Optimizepress and Digital Access Pass (DAP). I already owned Optimizepress and picked up a copy of DAP with an “unlimited” license for $300.
There was a slightly frustrating learning curve, but after building a few of the sites, I’d pretty well figured out how to use WordPress as the base for my sites.
Then, things got weird…
The owners of DAP built in a “stop” into their registration system. If an unlimited license owner builds too many sites, they automatically stop their licensing system from recognizing their license and force them to contact support.
As the owner of a software business, I understood this part and couldn’t blame them.
What came next simply pissed me off.
During my exchange with their support team, I was informed that my “support subscription” had expired. If I wanted support, I’d need to pay an additional $120.
If I’d broken their product or caused it to stop working, I would completely understand this request for additional funds. Yet, the reason I needed their help to license my website was based upon their systems not authorizing my “unlimited” license, not me breaking something.
Wondering if I was being a baby, I went to Facebook and asked my friends what they thought.
The response was 99% in agreement with how rotten this was. Many people suggested I hit the web and flame the owners of DAP.
$300 for software is a fairly large investment. In exchange for that I don’t think it’s unfair to expect to have a usable product a year after purchase. I don’t feel their $120 fee is wrong, just the way they implemented it. Don’t set your system up to break on purpose then try to force your customers to pay for support needed to get your product to do what it’s supposed to.
I have an unlimited license. That means I could setup 100 sites using the script if I wanted to. To set it up to automatically break and not register with your registration system is not a standard support issue. What they did is wrong.
I’m happy that it happened though, it forced me to look at my options…
I remembered that a good friend had given me a membership plugin to play with a few weeks prior to this mess with DAP. It’s called InstaMember.
For my new site, I installed it and had it setup in less than half the time it would have taken me to get DAP setup.
It has some features that no other script has, including a licensing system for software.
Instead of focusing on features, here’s how it directly benefits you: InstaMember is insanely fast to setup, it works, and the creator isn’t a greedy idiot.
Whether you want to set these sites up for yourself or clients, this plugin does an incredible job. I’ve thrown together some bonuses that will help you setup your membership sites for anyone that grabs the plugin through my link.
UPDATE – Please read the Facebook comments below from the owner of Digital Access Pass and my response(s).
While this turned out to NOT be a case of extortion, that’s exactly what it appeared to be due to the way this conversation took place. The owner of DAP has posted screen captures of 2 support exchanges I’ve referred to above. View them. Read them. Then you can decide if I was wrong to come to my initial conclusions.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anyone do something quite like this before.
Watch the video above to understand what I’m doing and see if it’s something that will help you.
Instead of creating a program on my own, I’ve decided to enlist the help of my customers.
When putting together a traffic training program, it’s simple to create something that works in my business, but what’s important is what will work in YOURS.
Most traffic training is based upon one of two things: Google or Paid traffic. The problem with that is that it leaves out tons of opportunity.
So, the new Traffic Manifesto is going to bridge that gap and cover all 3: SEO, Paid Traffic, and other sources of Organic Traffic.
I’ve already got more than 50 systems that will be in the course, but need the assistance of people with all different kinds of websites to ensure that I’m helping people as much as possible.
Here are just a few of the systems that will be featured in the “choose your own traffic source” modules:
- Owning Forums With No Work
- Best Squidoo Lens
- Banner Exchange Arbitrage
- Scribd Vacuum
- Owning Facebook Promoted Posts
- Stumbled Upon Traffic
Plus many, many more.
If you decide to take this journey with me, we’ll be working together over the next 2 – 3 months to develop a traffic strategy that suits your business. In other words, I’ll help you pick the systems that fit your business.
I normally charge $250 – $500 per hour for consulting and this would be worth $1,000 – $2,000 easily.
Instead, I’m making this available for under $400. Click the link here to sign up.
Business is business. Your competitors are not your friends and how well they do should not be your concern. If you want to be the best choice in a marketplace, you have to make sure your prospects know you’re the best and the rest don’t matter. There are some truly sneaky ways to get traffic in any market, no matter what you sell.
Stealing social attention is the fastest way to gain authority and traffic in any market. Every market has mavericks. To take some of the attention they’ve gained in the marketplace, all you have to do is start talking to them. Tweet them, follow them on Facebook and have open conversations related to the consumption of the products you both sell. This will get their followers to see and notice you. If what you say is good enough, they’ll also begin paying attention to your social presence. All you have to do next is make sure your websites are easy to find and the sales will start to roll in.
Analyze and outdo your competition to be a step ahead of anything they do to market their business. This is incredibly simple. All you do is search for your competition’s main web address in Google and see what comes up. You’ll see many of the locations that link to their website and that’s the point of marketing a business online. If they’re advertising or doing content based marketing, there will always be a link to their website. See what they’re doing, do it better, then do more.
Swipe and improve the content your competition is using to get more attention online. If your competitors are using content to market their business, you should be paying attention to the info they put out. Normally, you’ll be able to find a few things you can add to whatever they are saying. Take their main content, rewrite it, then add your own additional advice. Then, of course, guide the prospect to buy from you instead of the competitor. A very important note on this one: Never outright steal someone’s content. Plagiarism is an ugly thing and you never want to be guilty of it.
Being sneaky isn’t necessarily wrong. None of these things break any laws. None of them are immoral. The bottom line is that you need to be marketing your business and if you aren’t paying attention to your competition, you can bet they’ll be paying attention to you. Business is war, if you let them win, they get your money…
Enjoy this post? Have a sneaky traffic strategy? Comment and share with those who’d enjoy this.
Although we all know to split test, we don’t.
Because it’s a pain in the ass to set up!
If you use Google’s Experiments, you’re handing over your data to the internet’s equivalent of the antichrist.
Visual Website Optimizer is easy to use, but super expensive. It’s $129 per month to test a website with 1,000 visitors per day.
Yet, split testing can literally make hundreds of thousands of dollars of difference to any business.
Think of it this way: You could write the worst sales letter in the world. Setup split tests and send traffic. The split testing software should automatically choose the best option over a period of time and improve your copy for you.
Your prospects literally do all of the work for you by simply visiting your website and deciding whether they want to buy what you’re selling.
Nice and easy, right?
Finally, it can be. Every website I own is becoming a WordPress site and a new plugin that just came out today makes split testing as easy as clicking your mouse a few times. It’s called MIST.
The owner of the software created a demo for my customers. You can see it here.
After that, grab this plugin. It’s 73% off for the next week.
What is the Traffic Trinity?
It’s the main 3 things you need in place to put your business where it needs to be. Without it, any results you may be getting are going to be far less than they should be.
The simple truth is that once you get these three things working together, you truly can’t fail.
Yet, I see people failing. A LOT.
You deserve better. You deserve more.
While I served with Cloud Income Properties, I developed systems that can transform all 3 pieces of the Traffic Trinity equation.
All 3 of them require simple tweaks or changes that can make a fast, dramatic impact.
I considered creating a training program around the idea, but quickly realized that it wouldn’t work. My rare skill set and experiences are a mandatory piece of the equation.
Now that I’ve left cloud and returned to my business (where I belong), I’ve not only seen hundreds of websites where the systems I created for Cloud would apply, I’ve seen hundreds of websites where I could do a whole lot more.
I’ve developed a system that I call The Traffic Trinity that focuses on the 3 main things any business needs to have in order to separate themselves from the rest of their market.
It’s truly unique. You can find out more by visiting TrafficTrinity.com.
As the new year approaches, I found myself laughing at my past resolutions.
A few years ago, I resolved to quit smoking. I lasted exactly 3 hours and 22 minutes…
Last year, I vowed to lose 22 pounds. I’ve gained 10 extra pounds since then.
I know I’m not the only one who’s given up on resolutions a few days after I made them.
Since it’s been on my mind, I began thinking about why we give up on these things that will make us healthier or wealthier.
Why can’t we stick to it?
I believe the issue lies in how we attempt to implement these massive changes.
While I’m heavier then I want to be, I did finally quit smoking a few months ago. I did it out of the purest rage and I think that’s one of my motivators (anger).
The key to make change stick is to find what drives you.
I’m driven by challenge. I’d gotten the beginning of a sinus infection and was so sick of being sick, that I stopped smoking right then and there. Luckily, a friend had shown me an alternative that was nowhere near as unhealthy as cigarettes, so I also had something to switch to. My vapor doesn’t smell bad and also doesn’t contain anywhere near the few hundred poisons a cigarette has. It delivers nicotine in a much less hazardous fashion and I feel a million times better.
I haven’t had one cigarette.
Now, we’re just about to hit another new year and I want to make some personal and professional changes that will make a big deal for my 2013.
I began thinking about a good way to track what I’m doing and control my day. I’m super disorganized.
The Action Generator is a tool that helps with this problem.
The software will be organizing everything for me this year and I know it will help you, too.
I am grateful. I’ve had this buzzing in my head over the last few days and began thinking about the time I’ve spent with my online business. I thought about all of the cool stuff I’ve done and how I’ve helped thousands of internet entrepreneurs improve their businesses and their traffic strategies.
This train of thought led me to thinking about the people that I’ve become friends or partners with along the way. The list is absolutely massive. While I’m sure I’ll miss some very important people, here are some stories about marketers that have impacted my life and business over the years that are worthy of your attention:
Frank Kern – He’s the only guy who’s gotten me to buy a $2,000 course. Mass Control opened my eyes to marketing in a way nothing else has and that includes my time in college studying marketing.
Just about everything he touches turns to gold. Any launch he’s involved with makes millions. Don’t be fooled by his laid back demeanor, Frank is an epic genius. There aren’t too many people I watch to help me improve my business. Frank is the guy I’ll follow forever.
Andy Jenkins - As I sat in the front row at the Mass Control 1 event, Andy walked past and noticed me sitting there. As his face turned bright red, he started laughing. He walked up and said “I have to shake your hand. Let’s talk later”…
When we sat down, we discussed how I slapped the crap out of a recent StomperNet launch. Over the next year I was slowly transformed into StomperNet’s newest faculty member.
My time with StomperNet while he ran it was awesome. When Andy left, he took a chunk of the company and a little bit of each of us with him. If Andy calls me in 15 years, I’ll rush to answer. I’ll never forget our time working together.
Perry Belcher - Best copywriter alive (yes, I said it). I know he has a “history” and some may dislike his past, but I do my best to judge people based on how they are today. I’ve made a crapload of mistakes over the last 34 years and I would hope people would look past my stupid moments and base their opinion of me on how I act today.
Perry’s made me a few hundred thousand dollars over the last few years. He trusts me, which is major coming from someone as cool as he is. Our business dealings were cool, but his friendship is most important to me. Be careful, any joke he tells you is bound to make you piss your pants.
Brad Fallon – Goodness… How do I sum up Brad? Brilliant and Completely Frustrating. Easily the smartest person I know. His ideas are dangerous.
Brad is a “Hey, squirrel!” kind of guy that needs someone to center his attention and force him to focus. If there’s anyone on earth that needs to walk around with blinders on, it’s him.
When Andy left StomperNet, Brad took over and I quickly went from faculty to VP of Marketing. I brought in 7 new faculty members, created 2 courses, let them sell a version of my main software, and interacted with members every day. He insisted that I spend 3 weeks out of every 4 in Atlanta when I was with Stomper and we had a lot of fun while I was there. I’m not sure if he can get there, but he deserves every success.
Ken McArthur – I call him “Dad”. I went to my first seminar in 2006. I scraped together every cent I could to get there and had to stay in a crappy hotel a few blocks away. Luckily, Ken let me come to help because there is no way I could have afforded a ticket to the event.
At that event, I was able to meet many of the people on this list. I found affiliates and a lot of new friends.
Ken opened a door for me that nobody else could have opened. I’ll be forever grateful for Ken and his massive heart.
Mike Filsaime – I met Mike by accident. My first offering was an SEO book I sold via a WSO in the Warrior Forum called SEO Diamond. I swiped the copy from other sites selling similar products and threw in a bunch of resell rights products as bonuses to get people to order.
One of those products was Mike’s. The problem was that only 2 people had resell rights to the product and they weren’t transferrable. In other words, the jerk that sold me resell rights to his product didn’t have the right to.
As I saw the first sales trickle in, I was overjoyed. I stayed up until 2 A.M. to be sure I addressed any customer service issues, then fell into bed and passed out. I awoke at 5 A.M. to find absolute pandemonium on the sales thread. Mike had posted about his product wrongly being given as a bonus. Mike had contacted me and asked me to call him.
When we got on the phone, I immediately apologized and explained myself. He understood and was very cool about it.
A few years later, we met at an event he held in San Francisco and I was amazed at how friendly he was. I’ve been on 2 of his cruises and have been able to get to know him enough to consider Mike my friend.
Through Mike, I’ve been able to get to know Tom Beal, Joe Jablonski, Michelle Galvin, and Lucius Kern. His staff are just as cool as he is.
Matt Bacak – I’ve spoken at a lot of events over the years, but the only one where the organizer sat down and frantically took notes while I spoke was Matt’s. Please don’t misunderstand me, Matt is incredibly good at what he does. In fact, he’s smarter than most of us because he sticks with what he knows works instead of constantly searching for the next “secret”.
Ever since that first event, Matt has been someone I consider a friend first and an associate second. I’ve hung out with his wife and kids on a cruise and I go to events simply because I know he’ll be there. I consider myself lucky to know him.
Erik Stafford – We met at my second JV Alert event. I see this big, bald dude in a hawaiian shirt. I’d seen some of his stuff online, so we sat at the bar and had a few drinks. Before either of us knew it, a few hours had gone by.
I moved to the city I live in simply because he lives here. Erik has a “zen” quality to him that has a nearly instant effect on me. He levels me out and he’s saved me from myself more than once.
Erik also happens to be the highest paid graphic designer I’ve ever met. Not too many people can get $10k to lay out words on a web page…
Vin Montello – Nobody tells a story like Vin. His sales copy is hypnotic. I can always see a letter written by Vin and his team within the first paragraph. The copy normally converts at 2 or 3 times the industry standard.
I happened to meet Vin at the same event where I met Erik. Three bald guys standing together smoking and laughing…
Vin is the guy I send “players” to for copy. If you’re new, you probably can’t afford him. Yes, he’s that good.
Harris Fellman – My confidant… Harris and I met at that first JV Alert. Two short, jewish bald guys in the same market, we were bound to become friends.
He’s the guy behind my greatest success. About 18 months into my “internet marketing” journey, we got on the phone and were discussing our current projects. I was in a slump and not sure what to do next.
He said “What’s your best selling product?”. I responded “Traffic Manifesto”. He said, “update that and put it out again”. Now, I’m a best selling author because I always revert back to that same idea. Stick with what sells. If it weren’t for Harris, I could be in a very different place in my life and my business.
Simon Leung – We used to coordinate our schedules so we’d end up at the same events when we were both still on the speaking circuit. Si used to work for Google and helped design some of the cornerstones of the Adwords program. In other words, he knows what he’s talking about.
Whenever we get together, we come up with these ridiculously huge ideas that neither of us ends up following up with. We dream big, that’s for sure.
He keeps trying to get me to go to Asia. I might have to take him up on it soon… It’s been too long.
Anik Singal – My brother from another mother. We met on my first Marketer’s Cruise. Our stories have a lot of similarities. We’ve both faced some incredible adversities and used them to fuel our success.
He serves a different chunk of the market then I do, but he’s always done anything he could to help me.
I’ll never forget when we got on the phone after not talking for a few months and I explained a rough financial situation I’d just fought my way out of. The first thing out of his mouth was “Dude, why didn’t you call me. I would have helped”. There aren’t enough people like Anik in this world.
Stephanie Frank - My mentor. She’s saved me a few hundred thousand dollars in bad decisions, saved my marriage, and forced me to focus to get my biggest project to date to a point of “done”.
I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have Stephanie in my corner.
Laura Betterly – My rowdy sister from New York. Laura and I are in constant contact. Anytime I’ve asked her to help or be a part of something, I get an instant “Yes”.
We met through Perry at Ryan Deiss’ War Room Mastermind. We hit it off instantly, plus her husband Steve is probably the nicest man on the planet.
There aren’t too many moves I make in my business without running it past Laura first.
Bill is a business coach and Austin is an internet marketer. They’re both incredible at what they do and I’m lucky to have met them.
Omar Martin – It’s all our wives fault. Jaime and Melinda met at an event and became attached at the hip. Omar and I got stuck with each other. I’m lucky that he’s as cool as he is.
Omar is ethical and honorable in a market filled with scumbags. He’s wicked smart with how he runs his business and sells his products. Nobody understands his market as well as Omar.
I also stopped smoking using the strategy he used, so he kinda saved my life.
WSO Crew: Anthony Aires, Dr. Ben Adkins, Brad Gosse, Chris Munch, Chris Winters, Dr Dan and Rockstar Ben, Ryan Mckinney, E Brian Rose, Brian Zimmerman, Tina Williams, Don Wilson, and Bill Guthrie – I have a story for each of the people I named above, but this is already the longest blog post I’ve ever written (by far).
I returned to the Warrior Forum a year ago after hearing that there was a lot of money being thrown around in the WSO section. I went in thinking “I’m taking over”.
I was immediately corrected and embraced by a group of the smartest business people I’ve ever met.
The WSO Crew I’ve named above is unstoppable, brilliant, and each one is crushing it. I’m honored to consider these people my friends.
I hope my internet antics have impacted you and helped you in some way. If you and I have had a moment similar to any of the ones I’ve shared above, feel free to let me know below in the comments.